Church Record Sunday – Origin of a ‘Family’ Name

I went in search of the church marriage record of my great grandparents, Sadie and Lemuel, charmed by the fact that they wed in the city where I have been living for many years. That journey was marked by a series of newbie-mistakes but, in the en…

I went in search of the church marriage record of my great grandparents, Sadie and Lemuel, charmed by the fact that they wed in the city where I have been living for many years.  That journey was marked by a series of newbie-mistakes but, in the end, I did find the record in the Jackson Square Methodist Episcopal Church Records, held by Lovely Lane Museum & Archives. That’s not the story here.  This is. Continue reading “Church Record Sunday – Origin of a ‘Family’ Name”

Ancestor Approved

Thanks to my friend and ProGen peer Shelley for passing the Ancestor Approved blog award baton from her blog, A Sense of Family, to Family Epic. And thanks to Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here who created the award early in 2010. Recipients are as…

Ancestor_approved

Thanks to my friend and ProGen peer Shelley for passing the Ancestor Approved blog award baton from her blog, A Sense of Family, to Family Epic.  And thanks to Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here who created the award early in 2010. 

Recipients are asked to post a list of ten things learned about their ancestors that have been humbling, surprising or enlightening.  It’s a great mental organizing task, one that genealogists embrace – this time of year especially.  Continue reading “Ancestor Approved”

Speechless

I’m rendered speechless at the moment. And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing except that I’m trying to maintain a story-telling blog. I threw myself into genealogical education in the last ten months – completing the trifecta of SLIG, Samfo…

I’m rendered speechless at the moment.  And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing except that I’m trying to maintain a story-telling blog.

I threw myself into genealogical education in the last ten months – completing the trifecta of SLIG, Samford, and NIGR in one year.  And in the last two weeks, did the same with on-site research – spending part of one week in western Pennsylvania researching Dad’s line and then spending most of last week in the El Paso, Texas, area researching Mom’s family.  To put it mildly, the combined trips were a study in contrasts. Continue reading “Speechless”

Local Matters

One of the biggest surprises since undertaking family research was the discovery of an ancestral connection to Baltimore, my home since 1977. “I’m not from here,” I tell people. But, as my husband sometimes puts it, “she’s more from here than I am…

One of the biggest surprises since undertaking family research was the discovery of an ancestral connection to Baltimore, my home since 1977.  “I’m not from here,” I tell people.  But, as my husband sometimes puts it, “she’s more from here than I am.” 

Several lines ducked in and out of town at various times.  But the most intriguing individual is Levin Dukes, tugboat captain, our 2nd great grandfather, who lived just north of Fell’s Point  from 1847 (maybe earlier?) until about 1859. A Fell’s Point tugboat captain?  It doesn’t get much more local than that.

It was Levin’s daughter, Sarah, who married Lemuel Offutt, M.D., originally of Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1877, and moved to Pennsylvania, from whence we came.  Dad told me in  2008 that his grandmother, Sarah Dukes, who died 16 years before he was born, was a complete blank to him.
  
Two years later, we’ve at least made the acquaintance of Sarah’s parents, Levin and Susan (nee Tagret/Taggart), and know how their story ended.  The beginning of their story remains elusive. The quest hasn’t reached “brick wall” status, the term genealogists use to describe their toughest research problems, but it has certainly been my biggest challenge to date.  More on that in Part II or however many parts this is going to take.
Continue reading “Local Matters”

Paying It Forward – Here’s the Ruffner Family Bible

Online and print publications on our Offutt line cite an 1840s family bible that was passed down to our grandmother’s cousin. I’d like to locate the bible — for several reasons. It’s a very special family artifact. To actually see it would be as …

Online and print publications on our Offutt line cite an 1840s family bible that was passed down to our grandmother’s cousin.  I’d like to locate the bible — for several reasons.  It’s a  very special family artifact.  To actually see it would be as thrilling as our visit to the Offutt property in Montgomery County (described on May 5).   But I’d also like the chance to look at the entries and evaluate them as evidence — to look at the content, examine the handwriting, the ink, and check the publication date of the bible itself. Continue reading “Paying It Forward – Here’s the Ruffner Family Bible”

War and Peace – Updated

I’m headed to Alabama on June 13th for a week-long class on Military Records. The class is one of the offerings of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, a premier genealogical institute. One of my (self-assigned…

I’m headed to Alabama on June 13th for a week-long class on Military Records.  The class is one of the offerings of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, a premier genealogical institute.  One of my (self-assigned) preparation tasks is to gather up my clues on ancestral military service so that I have a menu of real-life inquiries to pursue during my week of immersion. 

I had a request to indicate (my) relationship to the ancestors below.  That information appears in brackets.  And I’ve posted a picture of John Kennedy “Jack” Gates, cousin and combat photographer.  It’s a unique shot that includes headline news. Thank you, Susan!

Continue reading “War and Peace – Updated”

Finding James Offutt (and much much more)

One of the first posts in Family Epic was about my visit to Darnestown Presbyterian Church and Cemetery – many Offutts are there, the family of our father’s mother. But the patriarch, James Offutt (1803-1857), is not among them. Resources consulte…

One of the first posts in Family Epic was about my visit to Darnestown Presbyterian Church and Cemetery – many Offutts are there, the family of our father’s mother. But the patriarch, James Offutt (1803-1857), is not among them.  Resources consulted at the Montgomery County Historical Society and online identified the location of his grave and those of two young daughters at a private home nearby. (1)  James’ son from his first marriage and half-brother to Lemuel,  James Howard Offutt (our 2nd great uncle), lived on the property until his death in 1935 – a span of over 90 years of Offutt ownership. I contacted the current owners by letter and asked if I could come for a visit – and was rewarded by a most welcoming and generous phone call. Continue reading “Finding James Offutt (and much much more)”